small red fire ants in south carolina

Fire Ants

Pest Guide > Fire Ants

What do fire ants look like?

swarm of fire ants in a sc yard

Fire ants are a smaller type of ant, adults grow to between 1/10 and ¼ of an inch.  They are reddish brown to black and have a cooper colored head.   Their colonies are very large colonies with more than 250,000 members in it.  They are an aggressive species and will chase down a perceived threat in order to sting them.

Do fire ants bite?

Fire ants do bite. Then they sting!  Fire ants use their pincher-like mandibles to grab and contain their victim; them they use a stinger that is located on their abdomen to inject venom through a very painful sting.

Are fire ants dangerous?

Yes, fire ants are very dangerous.  Their colonies are very large, they are very aggressive, their stings are painful, and their venom can cause serious allergic reactions in people and can kill small pets and wild animals. Fire ants can also be very dangerous and damaging to farms.  They get into and destroy electrical equipment and motors and destroy crops by feeding on the young plants.

Why are fire ants a significant problem in the south?

Fire ants are not a native species to the United States. They were first introduced to the US from South America in the 1930’s, and since then they have spread throughout the entire southern United States like “wild fire”. Fire ants have no natural enemies which allow them to continuously spread with ease. The warm weather in the south also allows them to be active and breed throughout most of the year.

How do you get rid of fire ants?

Getting rid of fire ants is a very difficult process, fire ant colonies are very large and sometimes fire ants will “bud off” with a new queen in order to start a new colony. If the colony is disturbed fire ants may split and move to a different location. The best way to get rid of fire ants is to contact a professional pest control expert that has experience with controlling and eliminating these dangerous pests. For more information on how Spencer Pest Services controls fire ants in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson and the rest of the Upstate of South Carolina and northern Georgia, please contact us.

Helpful Fire Ant Articles

Common Ants In South Carolina

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